The alliance and good-naturedness in Karnataka between Congress and HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular proved short-lived and now, before the state by-elections, the knives are out. Both parties fielded candidates for the Rajarajeshwarinagar assembly seat in Bengaluru and sharp comments flew from both sides.
Today, it was the JDS leader and chief minister of the former HD Kumaraswamy alliance government, who targeted Congress over recent violence in DG Halli and KJ Halli areas of Bengaluru.
The violence, which took place in August, has so far supplied ammunition to the BJP, with party leaders accusing members of Congress of being involved after the home of a Congressman Akhanda Srinivas Murthy been set on fire.
Mr Kumaraswamy, who accompanied his party candidate V Krishnamurthy for his candidacy, said the “real picture” had now appeared.
“These members of Congress are not the protectors of the citizens of this state. They are the main culprits of this raid. Now people are thinking about this issue … Congress is not sure for the people of the city of Bengaluru. I think they will make an appropriate decision in this election, ”he added.
The traditional rivalry between the JDS and Congress was put aside in 2018 to prevent the BJP from gaining power in the state. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi from Congress had called Mr. Kumaraswamy and allegedly offered him the post of chief minister in an 11-hour alliance.
Their government collapsed last year after a section of MPs resigned. Both parties accused the BJP of organizing the defections.
Former chief congressional minister Siddaramaiah, who accompanied his party candidate Kusuma H for his appointment, tried to rule out DJ Halli’s question.
“There may be differences between Sampath Raj and Akhanda Srinivas Murthy and Zakir,” Siddaramaiah said, referring to a former mayor and a corporate body, both interviewed in this case.
But the presence of differences “doesn’t mean they created this,” he said. “I am convinced – I went to this constituency – that due to the failure of the police, the failure of the government, this incident has happened,” he added.
The violence in Bengaluru led to more than the fire at the MP’s home. Two police stations and several vehicles were also set on fire. Four people died in the violence.
The ruling BJP said Congress and SDPI workers were involved in the clashes that were sparked by a Facebook post allegedly made by Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s nephew.